An entrance to the FNB Stadium in Soweto had to be closed on Tuesday evening after fans without tickets for the Bafana vs Bafana game came to the entrance shortly after 5.40 p.m. and demanded that they be allowed to enter the stands. An ad for the game said entry was free.
This was the first international live sports game in the country since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in March last year, and entry was limited to 2,000 fans . who had to be completely vaccinated. Tickets had to be applied for online and were allocated quickly.
Police and stadium security were called and negotiated with the angry crowd around 6:00 p.m. shortly before kick-off.
Those with tickets and vaccination cards were diverted to a different entrance.
The incident threatened to tarnish the serene atmosphere at the stadium in Soweto as football fans said this was a day they longed for.
< The police quickly dispersed the crowd and the situation was quickly under control.
A scuffle broke out between the police and an Ethiopian fan who refused to leave and demanded that he was let in. The defiant man claimed that they were told that entry to the stadium was free and that there was no mention of online tickets.
However, the situation was dispelled when the man’s friends reassured him and he agreed to go.
Everyone who doesn’t have tickets has moved away from the entrance and is in the parking lot g-area.
Some fans who spoke to TimesLIVE said they , even though they didn’t have tickets, were hoping to find someone with something extra to get their hands on.
Moshe Nkosi from Pretoria is one of those without tickets. “I’m at a point where I’m even willing to pay anyone who can give me a ticket,” he said.
Other un-ticketed fans said they would wait outside for the game ended up while others were treating it as an excursion and playing music in their cars in the parking lot.
“Whether I’m inside or outside makes no difference. I’m only here to support our team, “said Lesego Moerane from Soweto.
Since March 2020, SA has joined most of the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the victims were live sporting events that took place behind closed doors to prevent the virus from spreading.
That was finally to change on Tuesday night, when around 2,000 vaccinated fans were let into the sacred lawn of the stadium where the opening and the final of the 2020 FIFA World Cup took place.
Jeanette Lesisa from Midrand was one of the first to walk through the stadium gates and take her place.
It was a surreal feeling, she said, being with a few other fans and having to wear her mask, but it gave her hope that normalcy would return.
She said she really wanted to get it Get your ticket when the online application opened on Monday.
“I couldn’t wait. I kept updating the site and when the sale started I made my request, “she told TimesLIVE.
Although she was disappointed to find out that drinking and eating were not allowed in the stadium , this was not the case. doesn’t dampen her mood.
“I’m just excited to see the game live,” she said.
Lelis Quintanille from Mexico has lived in SA for 10 months and said that she Bafana always wanted to see Bafana in action after her country and SA drew an exciting 1-1 draw in the 2010 World Cup opening game.
Quintanille, who was present with friends and colleagues, said, although she finally did could see a game live, she was told that she would not get the full SA experience because there would be no vuvuzelas during the game.
“I was looking forward to playing the national team. I came to the country at a time when spectators weren’t allowed in stadiums and I’m glad that happened today, ”she said.
However, it was a disappointment day for other fans. Many Ethiopian supporters were turned away and said they did not know that they had to buy tickets online and only had to arrive with proof of Covid-19 vaccination.
Teddy Gemechu, Gezhaga Agega and Ehiso Ashomo spoke to TimesLIVE outside the venue after driving from Polokwane in Limpopo to watch the game. However, they were rejected.